Ashoka Social Investment Accelerator Programme 2018 for young social entrepreneurs (Fully Funded to South Africa)

Application Deadline: April 16, 2018 at 00:00  (GMT)

Are you a social enterprise and are you looking to raise investments for the first time? Are you based in North, East or Southern Africa? Join our 6 months Ashoka Social Investment Accelerator by Ashoka Africa, designed to support social entrepreneurs!

Nestlé and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, today announced the launch of the Social Investment Accelerator programme, designed and led by Ashoka, to scale solutions for social entrepreneurs.

The programme aims to support young social entrepreneurs to gain access to finance, enabling them to create further growth, impact and employment opportunities for other young people worldwide.

The Social Investment Accelerator provides young entrepreneurs with mentorship support in business and finance to find the right types of financing and investors. Nestlé experts will be mentoring the social entrepreneurs throughout the programme.

The programme will begin this year with 12 young social entrepreneurs in Africa, working in the fields of global food chain, access to clean water and youth employment. It will be implemented by Ashoka – the world’s leading network of systems-changing social entrepreneurs.

Eligibility criteria

The social entrepreneur/enterprise must:

  • Be legally registered in its country of operations.
  • Be based in South, East or North Africa.
  • Be built on a viable /sustainable business model, have a market-based approach.
  • Be looking to raise investment (angel, debt or equity).
  • Have at least 2 years of operations and of generating revenues.
  • Have the potential to scale and replicate in other settings or communities.
  • Have promise of substantial social impact through programs focussed on economic development, agriculture, nutrition, healthcare, education, as well as water and sanitation.
  • Have a team of minimum 5 people, with at least 2 English speaking persons who can dedicate time to the program.

Note: Quantifiable results and testimonies often help to demonstrate the potential for social impact of a project. (include)

How does it work?
12 social entrepreneurs working across Africa in the fields of global food chain, access to clean water and youth employment in African countries will be selected for this unique 6-month programme.
  • Identify established social entrepreneurs needing additional support to access the right type of financing and grow their impact.
  • Disseminate Ashoka’s expertise on accelerating social enterprises and hybrid finance in African countries.
  • Support social entrepreneurs to become fully financially sustainable and
    investment ready, or to find the right hybrid corporate structure to access both investment and philanthropy efficiently.
  • Provide these entrepreneurs with advice and the necessary tools to develop their business
  • Connect entrepreneurs with impact investors at the closing pitching event
  • At the closing event, the social entrepreneurs will practice their investment pitch in front of
    social impact investors, business angels and partners in our network.

  • Finalists will participate in a two-day bootcamp in June 2018 in South Africa during which the first 4 modules of the toolkit will be addressed with all the social entrepreneurs, mentors, and experts.
  • An online mentoring program will approach the other 4 modules over the 4-month period after the Bootcamp. Each session (1 month = 1 module) will include a webinar with Mark Cheng, Ashoka Europe Director and Social Impact Investor, exercises to produce some slides (4-6) on each topic and collective Q&A. You will connect on a weekly basis with your mentors, who will provide feedback and advice. The outcome at the end of the online mentoring program is to produce a 30-40 slides deck (some slides will be produced during each module): the pitch deck will serve as a helpful tool for future pitch investment opportunities.
  • Join exclusive, online ‘peer’ calls, to network and exchange ideas with other shortlisted innovators and receive mentorship guidance from 3 selected professionals.
  • Have access to an exclusive network of Ashoka Fellows and partners.
  • Meet inspiring and innovative entrepreneurs.
  • The opportunity to pitch their business case to a panel of social impact investors during the closing event in November.
  • Travel costs to the boot camp and the closing pitching event will be covered for the 12 selected entrepreneurs (travel costs for one (1) team member per organisation will be covered).
Support & mentoring:
  • Various coaches and consultants will be involved throughout the process to support the participating entrepreneurs. Each social entrepreneur has three mentors to support them.
  • The programme is based on the social investment toolkit developed by Mark Cheng (Ashoka Europe Director and Social Finance Impact Investors Expert). The entire mentoring programme will last up to nine months.
o 8 modules of Ashoka’s Social Investment Toolkit to improve the SE’ impact models,
economic models and financial models:
1 Social change
2 Measuring impact
3 Business model
4 Scaling strategy
5 Financial model
6 Legal structure
7 Financing terms
8 Investment pitch Social Investment Toolkit detailed content is available here:


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